A little child was playing one day with a very valuable vase and put her hand into it and could not get it out. Her father tried to help her, but all was in vain. The father was thinking that he would have to break the vase when instead he said, “Sarah, let’s try one more thing. Open your hand and hold your fingers out straight as you see me doing. And then pull.”
To the father’s astonishment the little girl said, “No way, Dad, I can’t do that. If I did , I would drop my penny.”
Many of us are like this little girl, so busy holding on to a “worthless penny” that we cannot accept the freedom that’s being offered to us.
So, for those of us in this kind of situation, Christ, on this Christmas 2017, is asking that you let go in your heart of the things in your life that have no worth—-no lasting value. Ask for the grace to let go of things that are holding you trapped. Surrender, and let God have his way in your life. As we all know, that “worthless penny” can be almost anything, depending on who we are and what our life experiences have been.
One of the things that many of us hold on to with a real tight grip is our worries. It almost sounds strange, doesn’t it? Every one of us would say that we don’t want to do that. We long to be free of worries. We say we trust God, but do we really? We still seek answers and resolutions to the problems, and rely on ourselves to solve them.
Well, this evening, as we celebrate Christmas, we are offered something new—-a new perspective on life. This is what the birth of Christ brings. When we look at the Nativity scene, whether here in church or in our own homes, do we ever think about the real people those statutes represent and what they went through.
Do you think St Joseph, kneeing before the crib, is still clinging to the worries he had when he was on the way to Bethlehem with his pregnant wife? How about Mary? At some point she had to say, “Lord, I will go with you and do what you ask. They both had to say: “Lord, I’m going to let go and let you have your way in my life. Mary and Joseph said these words, and so do you and I.
Even though we don’t have all of our questions answered, these words are spoken to us to hear and to believe: “Do not be afraid”. When Jesus leads us to his Father he says to us, “Don’t be afraid. Trust in me.”
Because Jesus Christ has come into the world, we have reason not to hold on to our fears as if in some way they give us control. Think of Mary, Joseph, Zechariah, Elizabeth…all those who came in contact with a gentle and loving, but powerful God. All came to the realization that “Nothing is impossible for God”. We are asked to come to the same realization. So open you hand and let the worthless penny drop to the ground. Reach for the hand of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and and follow the path to new life.